More than 100 members of the ‘Ultras Ahlawy’ – hardcore fans of Cairo football club Ahly – stormed a Cairo sports club on Sunday where they assaulted members of a visiting youth volleyball team from the canal city of Port Said.
The Ultras Ahlawy, who have vowed not to let any Port Said-based sports teams play in Cairo, invaded the Shooting Club in Cairo’s upscale Dokki district, where they beat up members of the Robat and Anwar volleyball team. Ten of the latter were injured in the violence.
They also set the team’s bus ablaze before fleeing the scene, according to Al-Ahram’s Arabic-language news website.
The incident represents an escalation in the ongoing rivalry between Port Said and Cairo in the wake of a controversial court verdict last month that saw 21 Masry fans sentenced to death for their roles in last year’s deadly Port Said stadium disaster.
The 26 January court ruling triggered riots in Port Said that left more than 40 people dead, including security personnel.
In February of last year, more than 70 Ahly fans were killed in Egypt’s worst-ever football tragedy – an incident that sent shockwaves across the country and fuelled anger among the Ultras Ahlawy.
Earlier on Sunday, thousands took part in several marches in Port Said as part of a planned campaign of civil disobedience to demand ‘retribution’ for those responsible for the death of Port Said residents in last month’s riots and clashes.